IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Concentration and Self-Censorship in Commercial Media

  • Fabrizio Germano
  • Martin Meier

Within a simple model of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media outlets we characterize quality and content of media under different ownership structures. Assuming advertising-sponsored, profit-maximizing outlets, we show that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported (self-censored) by all outlets in the market, (ii) self-censorship increases with the concentration of ownership, (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, may even increase self-censorship; the latter result relies on consumers' most preferred outlets being potentially owned by the same media companies. We argue that externalities resulting from self-censorship could be empirically large.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 527.

in new window

Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:527
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27, 08005 Barcelona

Phone: +34 93 542-1222
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
  2. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 643-669, 09.
  3. Petrova, Maria, 2012. "Mass media and special interest groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 17-38.
  4. Schlenker, Wolfram & Villas-Boas, Sofia B, 2008. "Consumer and Market Responses to Mad-Cow Disease," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt7995j7cm, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  5. Blasco, Andrea & Pin, Paolo & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2016. "Paying positive to go negative: Advertisers׳ competition and media reports," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 243-261.
  6. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 197-227.
  7. A. Blasco & F. Sobbrio, 2011. "Competition and Commercial Media Bias," Working Papers wp767, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  8. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
  9. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse Shapiro, 2005. "Media Bias and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 11664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  11. Matthew Ellman & Fabrizio Germano, 2009. "What do the Papers Sell? A Model of Advertising and Media Bias," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 680-704, 04.
  12. Lisa George & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Who Affects Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 765-784, August.
  13. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
  14. Andrea Prat & David Strömberg, 2006. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000363, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Anderson, Simon P & McLaren, John, 2010. "Media Mergers and Media Bias with Rational Consumers," CEPR Discussion Papers 7768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, 01.
  17. Kenneth C. Wilbur, 2008. "A Two-Sided, Empirical Model of Television Advertising and Viewing Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(3), pages 356-378, 05-06.
  18. Mark Armstrong & Helen Weeds, 2005. "Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital World," Industrial Organization 0507010, EconWPA.
  19. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 279-323.
  20. Rafael Di Tella & Ignacio Franceschelli, 2009. "Government Advertising and Media Coverage of Corruption Scandals," NBER Working Papers 15402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre H. Dube & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "The Evolution of Brand Preferences: Evidence from Consumer Migration," NBER Working Papers 16267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Caroline Elliott, 2001. "A Cointegration Analysis of Advertising and Sales Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 18(4), pages 417-426, June.
  23. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  24. De Smet, Dries & Vanormelingen, Stijn, 2012. "The Advertiser is Mentioned Twice. Media Bias in Belgian Newspapers," Working Papers 2012/05, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  25. Frank J. Chaloupka & Kenneth E. Warner, 1999. "The Economics of Smoking," NBER Working Papers 7047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Public service broadcasting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 281-299, September.
  27. Peter O. Steiner, 1952. "Program Patterns and Preferences, and the Workability of Competition in Radio Broadcasting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 194-223.
  28. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  29. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Competition and Truth in the Market for News," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 133-154, Spring.
  30. Schlenker, Wolfram & Villas-Boas, Sofia, 2009. "AJAE appendix for ‘Consumer and Market Responses to Mad-Cow Disease’," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), November.
  31. Fabrizio Germano, 2008. "On commercial media bias," Economics Working Papers 1133, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2009.
  32. Yongmin Chen & Michael H. Riordan, 2007. "Price and Variety in the Spokes Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 897-921, 07.
  33. Marco Gambaro and Riccardo Puglisi, 2010. "What Do Ads Buy? Daily Coverage of Listed Companies on the Italian Press," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/26, European University Institute.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:527. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.